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The Tower

Flame on!

Rod Lott June 27th, 2013

I have no idea how South Korea was able to get away with not calling The Tower a remake of 1974’s The Towering Inferno. What's important is that it has; this is a terrific disaster epic that marries the gargantuan concepts of the Irwin Allen era with today’s technology.

Set on Christmas Eve (thereby also making it akin to Die Hard), the film takes place at Tower Sky, a twin-towered luxury apartment building of some 1,700 units and 108 floors. The towers connect via a shivers-inducing “sky bridge” with see-through floor. If that makes your stomach do flip-flops, perhaps it can be settled with the food court’s free meals.

As happens in movies where disaster is top-priority, Tower Sky is rife with safety issues, including fire sprinkles that haven’t been tested, which very well could endanger the huge party being thrown. At least one certainly hopes so. When a couple of the 10 — repeat: 10 — helicopters covering the shiny shindig hit a patch of turbulence and crash into the high rises, blazes break out.

In a film vastly superior to his previous effort, the sci-fi-oriented Sector 7, director Kim Ji-hoon isn’t interested in story as much as sheer spectacle. We’re introduced to a handful of select stock characters — a party planner, a firefighter, a maid, a rich bitch, a single dad and his daughter — before the towers become one giant human barbecue.

This exceedingly slick trick would have been a blast to see on the big screen, but I’m just pleased we can see The Tower at all. Here, thanks go to CJ Entertainment for importing it to DVD. It won’t ignite a disaster resurgence like we saw in the mid-1990s with competing pics on comets and volcanoes, but that’s fine by me — The Tower can stand proudly on its own.  —Rod Lott

Hey! Read This:
Sector 7 Blu-ray review    

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